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Three Questions: Wings-Predators's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 76th game

Sunday, 03.29.2009 / 8:02 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Predators
What went wrong?

It only took 20 seconds for the game to take a drastic turn in momentum. The Wings were dominating, but at the midway point of the third period, a few bad bounces turned the game in the Predators’ favor. At the 11:35 mark, Preds forward Joel Ward fired in a rebound to beat goalie Chris Osgood to tie the game at 2-2. Twenty seconds later, center Jerred Smithson converted on a Nashville opportunity after a turnover, and scored his fourth of the season to give the Predators the 3-2 lead.

The Wings fought back, with Johan Franzen scoring his 32nd goal of the season after taking a pass from Pavel Datsyuk along the Nashville blue line. Franzen beat rookie goalie Pekka Rinne with a quick wrist shot from just inside the blue line. But defenseman Ryan Suter blasted a slapshot past Osgood with just under five minutes remaining, and the Wings couldn’t manage another game-tying goal.

What was the goal of the night?

I’m going with the Wings’ first goal of the night, which came on the penalty kill. Captain Nicklas Lidstrom got the ball rolling when he took a pass from Niklas Kronwall in the Detroit zone. Lidstrom wound up for a slap shot, as if to ice the puck, but instead fired a pass right onto Henrik Zetterberg’s stick. Catching the pass in stride at the Nashville blue line, he broke in behind the Predators’ defense, and burned Rinne with a deke to the backhand.

The goal marked two milestones for Zetterberg. The Wings’ forward picked up his 30th goal of the season, which means that he has scored at least 30 in four straight seasons. It was also his 400th career point, which is an impressive achievement for the forward who just signed a 12-year contract. 

Who was the player of the game?

Lidstrom had a great game Sunday night. Along with setting up Zetterberg’s goal, Lidstrom picked up the secondary assist on the Wings’ second goal, which featured Mikael Samuelsson firing in a one-timer on a pass from Datsyuk. With Brian Rafalski not dressing, Lidstrom played for 26:01, eating up 2:26 worth of penalty-kill time.



H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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